Marine areas around the world face dramatic changes related to the release of greenhouse gases. Some of these changes — such as marine heat waves already proven devastating to coral reefs — are directly related to the temperature regimes experienced by the organisms. In addition, there is a whole list of other changes that occur concurrently.
The clock is ticking to achieve the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement. To be clear right from the start: this goal deserves every effort that mankind can pull off. In the name of realism, this is the goal we must focus on now, given the current level of progress in reducing greenhouse gases. However, damage to marine ecosystems will not be avoided even if we reach this goal1. In fact, damage already occurs at current levels of warming, as evidenced by the bleaching of coral reefs2. This may be an inconvenient truth when our current goal is 1.5°C.